By Margie Anderson
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is twice the size of the state of
Rhode Island, and even with the water level down, there is still plenty of
room for boating and fishing. It is also a great RV destination, with many
The surrounding desert is gorgeous and offers plenty of fun for hikers
and photographers. Itís the perfect place for a dayís drive, too.
Three desert ecosystems (the Mojave, the Great Basin, and the Sonoran
deserts) meet in Lake Mead NRA, so it is home to a variety of animals and
plants, many of which are unique to the area.
There are plenty of roads to explore, with covered picnic tables
scattered all through the NRA. If you decide to venture off the road for a
hike, please be sure to follow basic survival rules: First, and most
important, tell someone where you are and when you will be back. Second,
carry plenty of water.
A gallon per person per day is what the rangers recommend.
Many Places RVers Can Explore
There are plenty of cool places to visit nearby, too, and RVers can
explore to their heartsí delight. The Grand Canyon isnít that far away and
is definitely worth a dayís drive.
You can also visit the Valley of Fire Park. Itís just a few miles north
of Echo Bay Resort. There are a lot of ancient petroglyphs in the Valley
of Fire, so youíll want to make sure youíve got your camera with you, not
only for the petroglyphs, but also for the red rock formations that gave
the Valley of Fire its name.
A fish hatchery, where trout are bred for lakes Mead and Mohave, can be
found three miles north of Lake Mead Resort, and itís open to the public
seven days a week. And, donít forget Las Vegas, which is only half an hour
When people think of Nevada, they usually think of Las Vegas first, but
Nevada is actually a fantastic place for an outdoorsman. They have several
dynamite shooting ranges in the Vegas area, for example.
One is just outside Boulder City. Nevada also offers plenty of hunting
and fishing opportunities. Visit the Nevada Department of Wildlife Web
site to find out more: http://www.ndow.org/.
While youíre boating on Lake Mead, itís hard to resist taking photo
after photo. The rock formations, with their different colors of strata,
often look like castles or even some weird, alien landscape. Itís truly
Great Fishing At Mead
The lake itself has some of the best fishing in Arizona, and a lot of
big bass tournaments are held there. In March, the stripers and bass start
biting really well.
During the summer, starting in May, bluegills are fun to catch. Mead
offers these fish plus catfish and crappie.
Your best bet for a good time fishing is to call ahead and ask at the
tackle shops what theyíre biting.
Speaking of tackle shops, if youíre in the Lake Mead area you have got
to visit the Bass Pro Shop. Itís just off I-15 on Blue Diamond Road.
If you have never been to a Bass Pro, youíre going to be blown away. It
is also the perfect place to find out whatís working on Mead because the
people there are actually outdoorsmen. You can get directions and maps, as
well as information, at www.basspro.com.
Since Lake Mead is run by the National Park Service, there is a modest
entry fee. Five dollars covers everyone in your vehicle for five days, and
you can get an annual pass for just twenty bucks.
Go to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Web site for details on
Golden Age passports and other fees. That site is
Many Launching Places
There are many places where you can launch your boat on Mead, and there
are several big marinas and resorts as well. While youíre at the Bass Pro
Shop, pick up a map of the lake so youíll know your way around.
Echo Bay is on the north arm (Overton Arm) of Lake Mead. It tends to be
less crowded that some of the other areas, since it is farther from Vegas.
Unless itís really windy the water is generally calmer there, too. They
have a full-service marina and RV park, among other things. Here are
numbers for Echo Bay: Overton Beach Resort (702) 394-4040, Echo Bay Harbor
(702) 394-4000, Seven Crown Resorts (800) 752-9669. The Web site is
Callville Bay is on the north side of Boulder basin, less than an hour
from Las Vegas. It has a full-service marina, RV park, campsites, and a
lounge. Snacks and other items are available in the gift shop, and you can
rent just about anything that goes on the water.
for more information, or call (702) 565-8958; RV park: 702-565-8958.
Temple Bar Marina is like a secluded little village. Turn off I-93 near
mile marker 19 and take the paved road.
Itís twenty-eight miles to Temple Bar, so donít start thinking youíre
not on the right road. Theyíve got it all down there: hotel, fishing
cabins, kitchen units, laundry facilities, an RV park, picnic areas, boat
and PWC rentals ó the works!
Visit their Web site at
www.sevencrown.com or call them at (928) 767-3211 for information and
Lake Mead Resort and Marina is only half an hour from Vegas, on
Lakeshore Drive. Itís the closest marina to the dam.
They have a full-service marina with rentals of almost every type of
boat, including personal watercraft. The marina features slips, moorage,
repair facilities and gas dock.
There is also a restaurant (toss your scraps to the voracious carp that
hang around) and places to buy gifts, snacks, and bait. Visit their Web
site at www.sevencrown.com or call
them at (702) 293-3484.